Published on February 20, 2014
Climate Change W hat can we do to reduce our footprint? Lavinia Andrei
Climate change • Climate is a measure of the average pattern of variation in temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological variables in a given region over long periods of time. • Changes in climate are natural (due to Volcanoes, Tectonic plate movement, Changes in the sun): e.g. after sun) the last ice age (11,500 years ago) global temperatures were 5°C lower than now. • Now we are experiencing temperature rises at unprecedented speed. • Scientists believe that human activities are responsible for this, due to the releases of the “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere.
Climate change facts • Extreme weather events – storms, floods, droughts and heat waves – becoming more frequent and more severe; • 90% of natural disasters in Europe since 1980 caused by weather and climate; • Europe’s glaciers have lost two-thirds of their mass since ... 1850 – and the trend is accelerating; • Polar ice is melting and sea levels are rising at double ....the rate of 50 years ago; • Millions of people around the globe threatened with ....water shortages, hunger and poverty.
What’s the cause? • Humans are pumping more ‘greenhouse gases’ into the atmosphere mainly due to the fossil fuel combustion; • The atmosphere acts like the glass walls of a greenhouse; • Natural greenhouse gases help retain heat – without them, temperatures would be 30°C lower • But man-made greenhouse gases emissions up 70% since 1970, meaning more heat trapped.
What can you do to fight it? Simple everyday actions play a major role in the fight against climate change: • Reduce energy consumption • Use more renewable energy • Reduce fuel for transportation • Use a better waste management system • Save water • Use local and green products • Greening your area
Reduce energy consumption (1) • Lower the temperature of your heaters by a degree or two; • Use a timer, so the heating is only on when you need it; • Don’t set the refrigerator to its coldest setting; • Insulate your house.
Reduce energy consumption (2) • • • • • Use natural light; Turn off lights when you don’t need them; Don’t leave appliances on standby; Use efficient bulbs; Replace equipments with high energy consumption (refrigerator, air conditioning etc).
Reduce energy consumption (3) • Don’t run washing machine or dishwasher half full; • Take a shower instead of a bath; • Boil only the amount of water you need; • Cover your pots when cooking; • Don’t leave the refrigerator door open; • Don’t open your windows for too long in winter.
Use more renewable energy • Use solar, geothermal or wind for producing electricity, heating or cooling for your house.
Reduce fuel for transport • Don’t use the car for short journeys; • Walk, cycle or use public transport; • Share car journeys; • Drive efficiently; • Check your tyre pressure; • Take the train instead of the plane.
Use a better waste management system • Reduce your waste; • Re-use materials and equipments; • Recycle materials and equipments (paper, glass, wood, textile etc); • Produce and use compost; • Use waste as a resource.
Save water • Insulate the pipes and fix the equipments; • Buy water saving appliances and toilets; • Installing low-flow shower heads.
Use local and green products • Buy and use local products; • Use your regional markets; • Consume ecological products; • Help and encourage local producers.
Greening your area • • • • Plant trees; Protect the forest; Prevent forest fires; Green you urban environment.
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